George Washington Papers

Orders to Colonel John Cadwalader, 23 January 1777

Orders to Colonel John Cadwalader

[Morristown, 23 January 1777]


March your Brigade from hence to Chatham or the Posts below that—Consult with Genls Sullivan and Stephen upon the Propriety of an attempt upon any of the Enemys Posts. or giving them a formidable Alarm—and, if you shd find a willingness in your Officers & Men to the undertaking of any practicable Scheme, do not omit, in conjuction with the Troops at the Posts of Chatham &ca to prosecute it. Genl Sullivan is already wrote to on this head.1

From thence you are at liberty to March your Brigade to Philadelphia, and when they are dismissed, communicate to them my Sense (contain’d in an address to yourself) of the Important Services they have renderd their Country at this severe, & inclemant Season.2 Given at head Quarters Morris Town this 23d day of Jany 1777.

Go: Washington

ADS, PHi: Cadwalader Collection.

1GW’s orders to Sullivan have not been found.

2GW inadvertently wrote “Importance Services” in the manuscript. GW’s unsigned address of this date to Cadwalader’s brigade is in Tench Tilghman’s writing. It reads: “The additional time for which General Cadwaladers Brigade engaged, having expired this day, they are discharged for the present. The General returns his Thanks to the Officers and Men of this Brigade, who nobly step’d forth at the most inclement Season of the Year, and by their Example, infused a Spirit into many of their Brethren of the province of Pennsylvania, the Effects of which the Enemy have already felt, and if properly kept up and supported must end in their total Ruin. The General therefore hopes, that both the Officers and Men, will, upon their Return home, endeavour to rouse those, who have not yet lent a hand to save their Country; they have a right to do more, they have a right to insist upon it. But should every Man, except those, who have already fought and conquered under him, refuse to turn out upon a future Occasion, the General assures himself that they will never let him call for their Assistance, in vain” (D, PHi: Cadwalader Collection). On this date Tilghman also drafted for GW a similiar address to the Pennsylvania militia thanking the soldiers for their past service and expressing hopes that they would turn out again when needed in the future. The address, which was published in the Pennsylvania Evening Post (Philadelphia) on 25 Jan. 1777, is located in PHi: Washington Manuscripts.

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